John's Journal
Who Will Be Next Old Dutch Athlete of the Week? And Team Of The Week?11/24/2013
Nominations are open for the Old Dutch Athlete of the Week award, as well as the Old Dutch Team of the Week award. Read all the details by clicking here.
Congrats To The Old Dutch Athlete And Team Of The Week11/23/2013
Jeremy Jost, a junior at Robbinsdale Armstrong who plays on the Robbinsdale/Hopkins/Mound Westonka Robins adapted soccer team, is the Old Dutch High School Athlete of the Week.
Jeremy was one of the unsung for the Robins, who won their sixth consecutive state championship in the physically impaired division of the adapted soccer state tournament.

He played a vital role in limiting scoring chances by the Robins' opponents all weekend long, especially in the state championship game. Jeremy plays a defensive position in the back half of the court to assist the goalkeeper, and is not typically a high-scoring player. But he had a great weekend offensively, scoring seven goals and three assists for the tournament, including the vital game-tying goal with 2:47 left in the championship game.

In addition, Jeremy specifically requested to defer a spot on the all-tournament team, if nominated, as he felt he had teammates more deserving of the recognition than himself... a very selfless act!

Congratulations to Jeremy Jost for being this week's Old Dutch High School Athlete of the Week!

The Old Dutch High School Team of the Week is the Chatfield Gophers football team. The Gophers extended their season record to 12-1 with a 41-21 victory over Hawley in the Class 2A semifinals at the Metrodome. They will meet Minneota for the state title on Friday, marking the first time Chatfield has been in the Prep Bowl since a championship threepeat from 1994 through 1996.

The Gophers made it to the state tournament with a Section 1 championship game victory over Caledonia, which had won five of the last six 2A state titles.

Congratulations to the Chatfield High School Football Team for being this week's Old Dutch High School Team of the Week!
Mankato West Has A Nack (Or Two) For Swimming And Smiles11/20/2013
On a day when Section 1 reigned supreme at the Class 1A state swimming and diving championships, few teams were happier than the girls from Mankato West. The Scarlets finished a distance second in the team race to Visitation, but the smiles told the story at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center.

And a big part of the story was the Nack sisters, senior Danielle and junior Chantal (pictured). What kind of day did the Nacks have? Danielle won her second straight state title in the 50 freestyle and her third title in the 100 butterfly, while Chantal won her second gold medal in the 200 freestyle and also won the 500 freestyle. In addition to that, the Nacks teamed with Madison Bacon and Rachel Phinney to win the 200 freestyle relay.

Visitation won its first team title since it won four consecutive state championships from 2005 through 2008. The Blazers, from Mendota Heights, finished with 300 points, getting first-place finishes by Abbie Dolan in the 100 freestyle and two relay teams: Caroline Gaertner, Heather Farley, Emily Kishish and Lorelei Gaertner in the 200 medley relay and Caroline Gaertner, Lorelei Gaertner, Emily Connors and Dolan in the 400 freestyle relay (in a 1A meet record time).

Mankato West was second with 168 points, followed by Sartell-St. Stephen with 161, Hutchinson with 131 and Albert Lea with 130.

Wednesday marked the end of Danielle Nack high school swimming career, but her college swimming will take place at the same venue because she will attend the University of Minnesota.

Her younger sister said the state meet experience was “really cool. But it’s also kind of sad that it’s the last high school meet with my sister. It’s been a blast.”

The Scarlets’ victory in the 200 freestyle relay was a big thrill, especially considering that West had only the fifth-fastest time in Tuesday’s preliminaries.

“We had finished second four times in the relay, and to come out of fifth and take first is awesome,” said coach Dave Burgess.

Other Class 1A champions (all from Section 1)…

--Albert Lea sophomore Lindsey Horejsi, who set a 1A meet record in the 200 individual medley on Tuesday, won the event Wednesday in a slightly slower time. She also won the 100 breaststroke.

-- Northfield junior Bailey DuPay captured the 1-meter diving state title for the third year in a row.

--Cecilia Hake, a senior from Faribault, won the 100 backstroke.


--In the 200 medley relay, the Chanhassen team of Zoe Avestruz, Bridgette Grobe, Kaia Grobe and Kylie Dahlgren broke the all-time meet record for the second day in a row, winning in 1:41.96. Chanhassen also won the 400 freestyle relay in a state-record time of 3:25.69.

--Edina set an all-time meet record in the 200 freestyle relay. The team of Amelia Anderson, Olivia Anderson, Emma Wittmer and Rachel Wittmer won in 1:34.06.

--Chanhassen junior Kaia Grobe captured her third consecutive state title in the 100 freestyle.

--Edina junior Olivia Anderson won the 100 breaststroke for the third year in a row.

--Chanhassen junior Zoe Avestruz won her second straight state title in two events, the 100 backstroke and 100 butterfly.

--Edina ninth-grader Rachel Wittmer won the 50 freestyle after finishing in a third-place tie in the prelims. Placing third in the finals was two-time champion Kaia Grobe.

--Wayzata won its first state team title, finishing with 275 points. Next were Minnetonka 232, Edina 221, Stillwater 206 and Chanhassen 197.

--Diet Coke Count: 3 for the day, 6 for the state swimming tournament, 35 for the fall state tournaments.


*Schools/teams John has visited: 217
*Miles John has driven in the Toyota Camry: 5,252
(*During the 2013-14 school year)
Follow John on Twitter: @MSHSLjohn
Day Of Caring At Underwood Shows Community Spirit11/18/2013
Earlier this month, a very special all-school day was held in Underwood, a small town near Fergus Falls. Underwood’s “Day of Caring” promotes efforts to assist students in giving back to their community by performing service projects around town and the area.

Students in kindergarten through sixth grade, grouped by classrooms, went to local nursing homes, assisted living centers, food shelves and state parks, where they visited the elderly, played cards, sang songs and had a wonderful day.

Older students, in grades 7 through 12, were divided into 22 teams. Those teams performed more physical projects, including raking yards, cleaning house gutters, washing windows, planting grass, cleaning areas around the school grounds and creating and completing projects at local day-care facilities.

The students had a fun experience, working together to help others and make new friends. One elderly man offered to pay the students for raking his yard, but he settled for taking a photo of the students with his phone to show to his wife when she got home. One group raked five yards and ran out of leaf bags three times.

Some of the younger students made cards and art projects that they gave to elderly residents. A group of fourth-grade students was excited to meet a veteran who is 102 years old, and residents of nursing homes and assisted living centers were delighted to hear the children sing to them.

“The Day of Caring was fantastic,” said John Hamann, the school principal for grades 5 through 12 at Underwood. “Our students really worked hard, never complained, and showed that they care about people in our community.”

Dean of students Brian Hovland and school counselor Jennifer Whipple, who put the project together, “did an excellent job, from creating the groups, finding places for kids to go, dividing the town up into sections for cleaning ... they really stepped forward and did a nice job,” said Hamann.

“Everything that we do comes down to building and maintaining relationships with people,” Hamann said. “My hope is that the community and our students continue to build on that bond that makes Underwood so special.”
Who Will Be Old Dutch Athlete of the Week? And Team Of The Week?11/17/2013
Nominations are open for the Old Dutch Athlete of the Week award, as well as a new honor: the Old Dutch Team of the Week! Read all the details by clicking here.